Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat
What a wonderful, poignant story about a Haitian family whose father, Papa, now lives in New York, toiling for years to bring his family to live with him. Told in first person by Celiane in entries to her notebook, we meet her family who has remained in Haiti, Celiane's mother, Manman, her older, artistic brother, Moy and the many relatives who provide support as they wait for approval to make the move. There is government turmoil and Celiane and her mother are injured in a pipe bomb attack in Haiti. It is a wonderful Christmas present to move to New York to finally be with their father. Once there, Moy and Celiane go to school, which is difficult because of the language barrier, strange surroundings and no friends. We see through Celiane's eyes the joy, sorrow and harshness of being in a new land. We see the beauty of Celiane's house on a mountain and New York through a child's eyes. This is a great multicultural story of how families remain close during separation and make a new life in a new land.